Despite the rapid gentrification of the neighborhood, there are still over 200 vacant storefronts in the Lower East Side. Rather than wait as landlords sit on these properties, miLES activates these spaces on a short-term basis to lower the entry barrier for creative, entrepreneurial and civic projects, with the potential of converting these into longer-term sustainable uses. This initiative will transform these storefronts in this socially and economically diverse neighborhood into community spaces, temporary homes for emerging projects, and provide economic opportunities for the local neighborhood.
Started as an OpenIDEO challenge realization phase, and with the support of Fourth Arts Block, we began our pilot storefront in April 2013 and received over 100 requests for pop-ups of various uses. We have produced 14 pop-up shops, 20 pop-up classes, two design festivals, and even a pop-up film festival! We have worked with a wide range of clients from cultural institutions like the New Museum to entrepreneurs like Etsy sellers. Since then we have talked to numerous landlords, more and more co-op and smaller landlords are open to what we are proposing by popping up one month at a time and receiving income while they are still waiting for their long term tenants. But we still need more validation and support to recruit more landlords!
Your pledges will help us pay for the rent, insurance, logistics, and the fabrication of the miLES Storefront Transformer and validation for us to talk to more landlords to unlock these underused spaces.
Transform a vacant storefront this winter into a pop-up neighborhood hub with 7 themes: SHOW, PLAY, LEARN, SHARE, MAKE, SHOP & EAT!
miLES just launched our new website and storefront at 75 E 4th Street!
miLES opens storefronts to possibilities by opening underused storefronts to classes, events, co-working, pop-up shops and other short term rentals.
Join the movement to open up storefronts to possibilities! Help spread the word! See more details here: bit.ly/VzPWwf
Thanks for your support neighborhoodlanders :)
-Eric and the miLES team
Love it! Looking forward to see how we can use it to engage the public! Thanks Dan!
Love this project Lee-Sean and Eric. We'll reach out to you with our new Questions feature that will launch this month for you to engage the public throughout all stages of MiLES.
Hello all, if you would like to participate and know more about our engagement efforts for Made in Lower East Side, check out our August Newsletter! - t.co/F7Dfspdv
We are also applying for some funding to get started with a prototype for a mobile unit to go around stores and vacant sites, would love your support! bit.ly/N03y1T
Thanks Lee-Sean, Eric and I met up last week to talk about the project. We'll be keeping an eye on this one...
Dan, thanks for the link, we are fascinated and very encouraged by yourSQFT, love to gather resources to see how everyone is tackling this problem from across the board!
Brandon, thx for the support! We are building a multi-disciplinary coalition to tackle this complex problem of vacancy. We started with core partners Architecture Commons (Architecture & Urban Planning) , OpenIDEO (Human Centered Design), Fourth Arts Block (Arts and Community) & CityAPI (Technology), and are subsequently joined by an amazing array of partners including TYTHEdesign (Service Design), Listenin Pictures (Video Storytelling), Value Web (Multi-stakeholder Facilitation), Projective Space (Co-working), Lucky Ant (Crowdfunding), Design for America (Student-led design activism) and our academic partners SVA Design for Social Innovation (thx to Lee-sean!) and NYU Wagner through the Capstone program.
In this 12-month pilot, we aim to listen to the diverse stakeholders first and then co-create & prototype solutions together to arrive at sustainable model(s) to utilize vacancy.
We will start engagement in mid/late Aug, LESiders join us by sign up here! madeinles.org
Hi Brendan, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org, he's one of the co-founders/leaders of the project.
Can you tell us a bit more about the coalition that MiLES is building right now, and how Lower East Siders might be able to get involved at this stage?